Small Wars Journal

A Cry for Help: Vigilantes Enlist Children to Fight Mexican Cartels

A Cry for Help: Vigilantes Enlist Children to Fight Mexican Cartels by Juan Montes - Wall Street Journal

AYAHUALTEMPA, Mexico - At age 13, Luis Gustavo Morales barely knows how to do basic math, but he already knows how to handle a shotgun nearly as tall as he is.

“We are surrounded by the bad guys, so we have to prepare ourselves to defend our town and our families,” he said while holding a yellow spinning top with one hand and a 20-gauge shotgun with the other.

This indigenous village in the rugged mountains of southern Mexico is enlisting some of its own children to help fight criminal gangs, in particular a ruthless cartel that has waged a bloody turf war.

Some 31 children ages 6 to 15 are training to become vigilantes, although for now only five are handling real weapons…

Read on.

Categories: El Centro